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Thread: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

  1. #61
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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    Quote Originally Posted by bking View Post
    I'm sure glad "they" live here, rather than anywhere else. And demanding nearly 40% of anyone's income, regardless how much they make, is enough wealth redistribution. If we can't live on that, we need to adjust.
    The wealth distribution goes the other way. In 2018, the richest 400 Americans paid a lower tax rate than the bottom half of Americans.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...ass-last-year/

    And the figures on where wealth is accumulating since the last recession are even more redistributory toward the top. There is a class war, and the very rich are winning.
     

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    The wealth distribution goes the other way. In 2018, the richest 400 Americans paid a lower tax rate than the bottom half of Americans.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...ass-last-year/
    Pretty much anything from Saez and Zucman should be carefully studied. In this case they did not include tax credits. I believe they also extrapolated data......

    Does America Have a Progressive Tax Code? | Income Tax Liability
     

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    Invent all the taxes you want, there are wonderful ways to make your money disappear
    and magically journey through many tax jurisdictions, until finally you don't owe any taxes.


    'Moneyland' Reveals How Oligarchs, Kleptocrats And Crooks Stash Fortunes : NPR
     

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    These discussions often turn into a bit of a fruitless thing, but I'm going to opine that taxes aren't mostly about wealth redistribution and shouldn't be seen as such. We clearly don't have that going on except maybe upwards. The double and triple dipping I personally observed when I lived in Virginia Beach was appalling. Taxes are to pay for things we as a society want, namely roads, schools, public safety and health, the Department of Defense (which takes an unbelievably large piece of the total pie), etc. I'm not going to get partisan or political here but those things don't build or fund themselves. And given the deficits we've been running since the 1980s it is clear that we are not even close to balanced on these fiscal matters.

    I'm not in love with either party and my record here is pretty consistent in that regard, nor do I love labels like "liberal" or "conservative" and we need to abandon this sort of tribalism to get our fiscal house in order. Taxes, in my opinion, shouldn't be seen as wealth redistribution by anyone, Republican or Democrat. They should be seen as paying for stuff we have decided we want in 2020 and beyond.

    What those things are is a discussion for another time.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott G. View Post
    Invent all the taxes you want, there are wonderful ways to make your money disappear
    and magically journey through many tax jurisdictions, until finally you don't owe any taxes.


    'Moneyland' Reveals How Oligarchs, Kleptocrats And Crooks Stash Fortunes : NPR
    And yet the home-office deduction just had to get axed...
    Kirk MRB | ???

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    With respect to the title, it is not so much the unfathomable stupidity of rich white men (and there are some pretty wealthy white women who like to throw their weight around), but resistance to change that would see entrenched positions undermined. In other words, they are scared.

    There have been and continue to be a number of major stresses on the system that should indicate that something needs to be done on a personal, societal and global level. The GFC and general neoliberal policies (conveniently bailed out by the tax payer) suggest there needs to be meaningful economic reform, yet it doesn't happen, or the reform is watered down or reserved in time. Covid-19 has highlighted a major flaw in our capitalist system and the push to re-open ignores the health risk and does nothing to address the structural problems (again, the tax payer foots the bill of keeping businesses afloat or people employed). The challenge presented by climate change is another very large issue to deal with. The cost of not doing so is reasonably obvious with significant destruction wrought by bush fires by way of example (again, the tax payer foots the bill), yet there is opposition to re-orientating how we do business to tackle this issue from industry through to government. #me too deals with powerful men abusing women and the system that allows such behaviour to happen (noting in Australia a former High Court Judge has recently been accused of sexually harassing or even sexually assaulting his associates and other women in the legal profession). Black Lives Matter deals with institutional racism and coming to grips with our past and present failures. Democratic reform? Putin seeking to entrench his position for years to come for example. The CPC and President for life Xi. Men scared to give up the power and prestige authoritarianism provides.

    Change means the status quo is upended. This scares people who sit at the top of the food chain. Whether it is a powerful business executive with happy hands or the majority shareholder of an oil company, change is inevitable. So, it is not so much stupidity, but fear. It is is so tremendously sad that the world burns (literally and figuratively) in the interim.
     

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    Default Re: The Unfathomable Stupidity of Rich White Men

    All,

    Please don’t intellectually constrain yourselves by taking the title of the article (or each and every word of the text) linked in the OP word-for-word literally or by being annoyed with it's tenor. Seek the larger concepts that the author is trying to articulate. Failure to respond to societal warning lights and excessive concentration of power, wealth, resources, etc. leads to larger instability that ultimately gets ugly. One would hope that education, observation and modern-day enlightened self interest of those at the pinnacle would ameliorate the tendency to travel too far down that road. Failing that, history is clear on the general result.

    It can happen here and for my money it will if we don’t make significant changes rapidly.

    This article makes the same general point in a different fashion. : How a Great Power Falls Apart | Foreign Affairs
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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